June 6, 2007

Do You Google...?

Over the years search has changed many definitions. Today the words ‘search’ and ‘Google’ have almost become synonymous. Earlier on if you entered a term to search the Internet on any of the popular search engines- Yahoo, Alta Vista, Mama or Jeeves- the search would be based on very basic principles. In case you entered 'CAR RENTAL' the search would check the number of times these two words have appeared on web pages. So instead of cars for rental you could find car chase and video rental! The Google dudes- Larry Page and Sergey Brin used a page rank method amongst other things; this basically used a mathematic formula to calculate the combination of these two words, how many times CAR preceded RENTAL, etc. Such simple tools set Google apart and rest the rest as they as is history.
Simplicity has always been the benchmark for Google. Once upon a time they had called in testers to check the search engine out. After being instructed to start searching many testers waited for something to happen. Upon asking the company got to know that the testers thought that the home page was still loading; that day onwards the home page had a copyright text at the end to tell people like us that the darn page is ready to do the job. These dudes had gone to Yahoo but they refused to buy Google for they thought that the future of Internet would be one page that offers everything and that search would fade away. Well, that was not to be; today barely a day goes by when you don’t Google. I, for one, have Google as my homepage! The thing that worked in Google's favor was of course the simplicity and the fact that it was an underground thingy initially and people took it like a cult and made it the leader that it is today.

I was in the process of doing research for an article and surprisingly enough found out that for 3,330,000 hits for Johnny Depp, Google threw up 2,610,000 hits for Jack Sparrow and Jack Sparrow is fictitious!

So my randomness got the better of me and I decided to test Googling famous names and got some really interesting results. There were 181,000,000 hits for George Washington, 2,570,000 hits for Abraham Lincoln, 38,900,000 hits for John F Kennedy and guess what...everyone's favorite American President Bush got 97,700,000 hits! That is more than Lincoln and JFK put together. It's a strange place this Internet, for Osama Bin Laden (1,660,000) gets more hits than Mahatma Gandhi (1,670,000)

Dying Young does have its benefits on the Internet too; Marlon Brando considered by many to be the greatest actor of all times gets 1,770,000 hits but James 'Live-Fast-and-Die-Young' Dean gets 56,800,000 hits. Robert De Niro may rake in more votes when it comes to acting prowess but at Google Al Pacino gets more hits; 2,510,000 to 2,550,000.

There is virtually no competition between the two greatest computer icons Steve Jobs gets 122,000,000 hits while Bill Gates manages just 67,700,000.

The fashion icons had the closest comparative hits: 4,510,000 for Calvin Klein, 3,990,000 for Dolce & Gabbana, 2,750,000 for Roberto Cavalli, 2,080,000 Donna Karen, 4,110,000 for Giorgio Armani but dying young has it's benefits here as well for with 8,700,000 hits Versace seems to be way ahead.

Outliving does have its benefits as well as Paul McCartney (5,470,000) manages to outdo John Lenon 3,820,000. The Rolling Stones may have outlived The Beatles but the Fab Four get 48,700,000 hits as opposed to 9,350,000 for the Stones. Led Zep (2,340,000) and Pink Floyd (3,700,000) pale in comparison to the Stones.

So how did some famous Indians fair on the list?

1,280,000 hits for Amitabh Bachchan, 1,930,000 for Aishwarya Rai, 1,030,000 for Abhishek bachchan, 1,020,000 for Aamir Khan, 739,000 for Sachin tendulkar, 508,000 for APJ Abdul Kalam, 1,270,000 for Manmohan Singh, 317,000 for Narayana Murthy, 666,000 for Satyajit Ray, 306,000 for HImesh Reshammiya, 1,390,000 for Amartya Sen.

It's a funny thing, this Google search for what can you say about the times we live in when a green comic book 3d Ogre called Shrek (I,II & III!) gets 39,500,000 hits and boy-toy Brad Pitt gets only 5,550,000.

And if you thought that was it then dodge this- there are 1,040,000,000 hits if you google ‘GOOGLE’!!!

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